Author on the Couch: Shelly Chalmers, 2nd Session

This week’s Author on the Couch is…

Shelly Chalmers.

She’s back for another session because sometimes one session isn’t enough! You can check out her previous session here:


Giveaway: Shelly is giving away two eBook copies of Must Love Plague in the format of preference (eBook or mobi).


Me: Have there been any big changes in your life since our last session—good or bad? Tell us about them.

Shelly: There’s been some fairly big changes since I was last here. I now have two little girls under eight, which is both wonderful and terrifying (especially in some of their similarities to me – I’ll be outmaneuvered by the time they’re twelve.) And the other big change is that as of today, I am officially a published author!

Following the many talented authors who have gone before me—and after a year with a lot of frustration and heartache when I realized I wasn’t good at fitting into a box–I decided to take full control of my career and independently publish. The prospect of which leaves me both excited-terrified that my little book is out in the hands of readers, and that my career has entered a new stage.

Enter to #win 2 ecopies of Must Love Plague by @scchalmers #giveaway #books Click To Tweet As of today, I am officially a published author! @scchalmers #AmWriting #AuthorontheCouch Click To Tweet

Me: How many books have you written? How long does it typically take you to write a book? What’s the most painful part of the writing process for you?

Shelly: Is it terrible if I’m not quite certain how many I’ve written? I believe Must Love Plague is my eleventh or twelfth complete novel, though there are also a few in first draft stage. It typically takes me about six to eight months to write a book, from drafting to final revision. The most painful part of the process happens at different times for different novels, but is typically around the 20-25k mark for the first draft…when I realize I’ve run out of the initial steam and love of the first draft, along with my initial ideas (meaning I need to actually figure out what’s going to happen in the other three-quarters of the book.) 😉


Me: What’s your writer’s mantra? Why does that mantra speak to you?

Shelly: I have two connected writing mantras (I did mention I’m not very good at fitting inside a box, right?) 😉 The first is: separate yourself from the road you’re on. The pitfalls are part of the road—not you. I have that one written on a piece of paper I look at from my laptop, and it reminds me that what happens in my career is not always going to be my fault, nor something I can always control, which is hard for a control-freak like me. All I can do is the best that I can, and that has to be enough.

The second part of that mantra is: “keep your eyes on your own path.” Or in other words, as Mark Twain said, “comparison is the death of joy.” So maybe my career path isn’t what I imagined, and perhaps not as easy (or difficult) as those of other authors I know. Doesn’t matter. My path is my own, and comparing myself to them—especially if it leads to professional jealousy—doesn’t help anyone. My path is my own, rutted and bumpy as it may be, and my job is to just keep moving forward.

Separate yourself from the road you’re on. The pitfalls are part of the road—not you. @scchalmers #AmWriting #AuthorontheCouch Click To Tweet

Me: What do you collect? Why? What personal meaning does this item have for you?

Shelly: I seem to start many of my collections by chance, and I have a few of them. There are my teapots, which I like because of their connection to history…and because they’re pretty. 😉  I have also somehow become the family history keeper, with family photos and mementoes ranging from my great-uncle’s letters written during the second world war, to a pump organ brought from Europe when parts of my family first immigrated to North America. These are important to me as physical reminders of the people who have gone before me, and who I don’t think deserve to be forgotten. It connects me firmly in the network of my family, all those before and all those to come, which is comforting. By retelling and preserving their stories and physical reminders of their existence, we honor their memory, and at least their memory can live forever.


Me: What genre(s) do you write? Why do those particular kind of books call you to write them?

Shelly: I write paranormal romance that runs the gamut from paranormal Regency to contemporary paranormal to space opera. Paranormal appeals to me because I don’t think there’s enough magic in the world, and frankly, I want to live in a world that isn’t all heart-breaking headlines, and black and white facts. I want to believe there’s more. I also add a lot of humor to my writing since those are the kinds of books I love reading too, because they can make me smile even when I’m feeling lousy. If I can make someone smile with one of my books, then I think I’m doing okay.


Me: Tell me about your debut paranormal romance novel Must Love Plague.


Spreading disease isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Piper Bane wants nothing to do with her pesky Pestilence bloodline and would give anything to be a Normal. In fact, she put Beckwell–land of the paranormal and home of the weird–in her rear-view ten years ago, and hasn’t been back since. Until an invitation to her best friend’s wedding coaxes her back home and reminds her what it means to continue the legacy of the four horsemen of the apocalypse. She receives a typical Beckwell welcome the second she reaches the city limits where she’s stalked by a toad and wraps her car around a tree. And is rescued by the one person she most wants to avoid: Daniel Quilan. Town doctor, genuine nice guy, and her ex-fiancé.

Ten years hasn’t been long enough for Daniel Quilan to forget the only woman he’s ever loved. His responsibilities as Beckwell’s only doctor keeps his mind off the hole Piper Bane left in his chest when she broke his heart and skipped town all those years ago. His not-so-ordinary patients and his trouble-making twin brother keep Daniel occupied twenty-four-seven, not to mention magic going haywire throughout town. But his plan to stay busy as the town’s golden boy is shattered when his latest patient turns out to be Piper. How good she looks isn’t his concern. How she still makes fire shoot through his veins isn’t his focus. But the fact that someone wants to end the world and will use Piper to do so……that makes her impossible to ignore.


Me: Share with us a favorite excerpt.


This section for me typifies Daniel’s sweetness and enduring hope even after Piper broke his heart ten years ago, and no matter how much he tries to deny it. When he gets a chance to protect Piper and invites her back home, she’s caught off guard by the house he’s living in. Not his family home, but the house that had been their secret place, the first place they made love.


The porch squeaked as she stepped onto it, and she trailed her fingertips lightly over the peeling paint on the handrail, the other collapsed and tangled in weeds. Back then, they’d still believed they could make a normal live for themselves. That they could be happy.

That just maybe they weren’t defined and trapped by their ancestors and the latent magic that lurked in their blood.

Light blossomed inside and Daniel turned, an imposingly large silhouette within the doorway.

This wasn’t the boy on the cusp of manhood she’d left behind. This was a darkly compelling man with secrets of his own. And whatever she’d said about them being adults and friends, as she stepped through the doorway, her fingers and toes tingling, it sure the heck didn’t feel as if she was just crashing with an old friend.

“I bought it ten years ago. Before I proposed,” he said quietly. “Lou lent me the money.”

Her breath caught. Ten years ago. Before he’d proposed.

It would have been theirs.

(Chapter 14, Must Love Plague)


You can purchase Must Love Plague here:


Barnes & Noble




Chapters Indigo

You can find Shelly here:




a Rafflecopter giveaway

Abbie Roads writes dark emotional novels featuring damaged characters, but always gives her hero and heroine a happy ending… after torturing them for three hundred pages.





About the author: abbieroads

30 comments to “Author on the Couch: Shelly Chalmers, 2nd Session”

You can leave a reply or Trackback this post.
  1. Karen B - October 16, 2017 Reply

    Purple and lime green? Why the heck not?! Love the cover.
    Great interview! This is going on my TBR.

    • Shelly Chalmers - October 16, 2017 Reply

      LOL! Have to confess…those colors would probably not be ones I’d choose in my wardrobe personally (well, maybe the green – purple makes me look yellow.) 😉 But thank you – I adore the cover too. And thank you so much for stopping by and adding this to your TBR pile. 🙂

  2. Linda Moffitt - October 15, 2017 Reply

    Thanks for coming and sharing your work with us. Thanks for the chance to win.

    • Shelly Chalmers - October 16, 2017 Reply

      Hi Linda! Thanks for stopping by. 🙂 Best of luck to you in the draw.

  3. Maria Dalmau - October 13, 2017 Reply

    What a fantastic interview.
    This sounds like an amazing read

    • Shelly Chalmers - October 13, 2017 Reply

      Hi Maria! Thanks very much for stopping by, and glad you enjoyed the interview and the book description. 🙂

  4. bn100 - October 12, 2017 Reply

    nice excerpt

    • Shelly - October 13, 2017 Reply

      Thank you very much – and thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  5. McCall Hoyle - October 12, 2017 Reply

    I am in love with the title and cover 💜💚

    • Shelly Chalmers - October 12, 2017 Reply

      Thank you, McCall! I’m terrible with titles, so when I finally came up with these ones, I wasn’t sure they’d work – but seem to be getting the response I’d hoped for. Thanks for stopping by!

  6. Gabrielly - October 12, 2017 Reply

    Looks like an awesome read.

  7. Cindy O - October 12, 2017 Reply

    Sounds like a fun series.. Meaning I have a twisted mind and like the unusual 🙂

    • Shelly Chalmers - October 12, 2017 Reply

      Cindy O – LOL! Twisted minds and a taste for the unusual are some of my favorite kinds of people – although I may be a bit biased (I’m one of them). 😉 I’m glad it sounds like fun, and thanks so much for stopping by!

  8. Suz_Glo - October 12, 2017 Reply

    Very eye catching cover! I like it and it would definitely make me stop to find out more. Good luck and thank you —

    • Shelly Chalmers - October 12, 2017 Reply

      Thank you, Suz_Glo! Yes, the cover artist did a stunning job, (Christa Holland with Paper & Sage – she deserves all the credit for her vision!) I’m so pleased with it, and I’m glad it caught your eye. Thank you for the best wishes and stopping by. 🙂

  9. Melonie - October 12, 2017 Reply

    Fantastic post (and the earlier interview too was fabulous – yes, I went back and checked it out!). This sounds like a great read Shelly, and I agree the world needs more magic, and we all need more laughter.
    Congrats on your book release and best wishes on this next step in your writing journey!

    • Shelly Chalmers - October 12, 2017 Reply

      Melonie, I’m honoured that you not only came to read this post, but also went and read my first visit here! Glad you enjoyed the post. And boy, doesn’t the world need more magic and laughter–these days more than ever! Thank you so much for your kind words and best wishes. Thanks so much for stopping by! 🙂

  10. Katrina Dehart - October 11, 2017 Reply

    I love reading paranormal! This sounds so good!!

    • Shelly Chalmers - October 12, 2017 Reply

      Hi Katrina, thank you for coming by. 🙂 Yay! Another paranormal reader (yes, I’m totally biased, but I love paranormal readers best…and I am one too.) Thanks for your kind words!

  11. Beverly Laude - October 11, 2017 Reply

    Happy to meet a new author! I love PNR & your book sounds wonderful!

    • Shelly Chalmers - October 12, 2017 Reply

      Hi Beverly! Nice to meet you, too. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and for your kind words! Paranormal is my favorite genre too – I love all the flavours it can encompass.

  12. sarah andre - October 11, 2017 Reply

    I am SO freaking thrilled for you today, Shelly! You deserve bestseller sales for all you’ve done for writers and readers through these years I’ve known you. And such a DARLING cover- I can hardly wait for my 7a flight tomorrow to crack into it!! Best of luck!

    • Shelly - October 11, 2017 Reply

      Aww, thank you, Sarah! I absolutely adore this cover myself – by Christa Holland with Paper & Sage, and can hardly wait to work on the next ones! And hope you enjoy, and that flight is a good one. Safe travels, and thanks for stopping by!

  13. Amy Patrick - October 11, 2017 Reply

    Oooh I REALLY love that excerpt. You are on your way, Shelly, and I can’t wait to watch your career grow with this brilliant series! Also… I’m so glad to finally know who coined “comparison is the death of joy.” I love that quote, and didn’t know who originally said it! Happy book birthday to you!!

    • Shelly - October 11, 2017 Reply

      You know, I’ve seen a few attributions for the quote “comparison is the death of joy” – so this one is who I’m fairly sure it is. And thank you so much for your best wishes. I figured the four horsemen needed a modern twist – who says women couldn’t do it better?? 😉

  14. Sheri Humphreys - October 11, 2017 Reply

    Great interview! I’d say you’re in control and zipping down your path right now, Shelly. Congratulations! Happy you’re experiencing that debut novel joy. I love what you said about making a reader smile. What a privilege that we get to do that, huh?

    • Shelly - October 11, 2017 Reply

      Sheri, thanks for coming by and for the congrats. I am experiencing that joy – silly grin on my face right now. 😉 And yes, it sure is a privilege getting to make a reader smile, isn’t it? Definitely what I aim for, especially when some days we know it isn’t easy.

  15. Erika Kelly - October 11, 2017 Reply

    I am thrilled you’ve published this book, Shelly! Congratulations!! And I love your mantras–I hadn’t heard that first one before, and it took me by surprise. I hope you have a fantastic book birthday–and many more to come!

    • Shelly - October 11, 2017 Reply

      Hi Erika. Thanks for stopping by, and thanks for the congrats! I love mantras, and I’ve often had to remind myself to separate myself from the road I’m on – which I sometimes also translate as: I’m not my book, and I’m also not the rejections. And yes, I’m planning to celebrate today. It’s my daughter’s birthday too, so lots of reasons for balloons and treats. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.Email address is required.